Home Security Matters: Do Home Security Systems Work?

Many people think that home security systems will not provide any help in keeping the criminals from entering their home. They also seem to think that if the alarm does go off then the police will not get to the break in fast enough to catch the criminal. I cannot speak to the speed of the police department and the response time. I have heard of a variety of different response times and a lot of the time this depends on how many calls they are already dealing with and the proximity to your home and where they are. The presence of a working alarm system does keep criminals from entering your home or even trying to get in.

A research report on “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective” was compiled by The University of North Carolina and it points out what a burglar thinks about when approaching a house and what they are looking for when they get to your home.

The objective of the study was to answer the following five questions:

  1. What motivates burglars to engage in burglary?
  2. What factors are considered during target selection?
  3. What deters burglars from specific targets?
  4. What techniques do burglars use during the commission of their crimes?
  5. Are there gender differences in burglary motivation, target selection, and techniques?

For the purpose of this article I believe that questions 2-4 are most relevant to alarm systems and deterring crime. I will note that the overwhelming reason for the burglary was 51% needed money for drugs and 37% needed money. Only one third of the burglars collected any information or planned the theft so two third of the time it is a crime of opportunity. So, the job of a renter or a home owner is to keep the opportunity to a minimum. The statistics indicate that there are certain facts about what a burglar looks for and what sends them packing before they break into your home.

What deters Burglars?

  • Close Proximity to other people
  • Lack of an escape route
  • Indicators of Increased Security
    • Alarm Signs
    • Alarm Systems
    • Dogs
    • Outdoor Cameras

Burglars want to be discrete. They do not need anyone to see them before, during or after the crime so they are looking for quiet places to rob. They do not want to meet you so they will make an effort in most cases to check whether you are at home. In many cases a crook cannot figure out ahead of time if there is an alarm but if one goes off then 60% of potential burglars will high Tail it out of there when the alarm starts sounding.

The study further shows that the presence of a Security System and a dog are the very best combination to keep the bad guys out but an Alarm System is cited as the best single solution. Almost every burglar indicated that they entered through a Window or Door so the argument for Full Perimeter Protection is a valid one even though Essential Security is better than a dog by itself.

For all of you that are still utilizing a Standard Phone Line (POTS) for your alarm panel to communicate over then you might want to know that 20% of burglars in this group cut the phone line before entering the home. As a salesperson and a technician for over 20 years I only sell Cellular communication. Not only is it the fastest form of communication it also cannot be defeated. You can’t cut air!

When Do Burglars Enter?

Most burglars depend on the routines of the homeowner. They know that they usually run errands and are gone most of the time between 9-11 am and 1-3 pm. That is the best time to get in and out without anyone hindering their efforts. The burglars obviously can read a watch and a calendar because the most crime happens from May- September when homeowners spend a lot of time away from home.

Bottom line is that you and your home are vulnerable and since you cannot be at home all of the time you do need a form of protection that can be there for you automatically watching for intruders and alerting you and the authorities when they come around. An Alarm system can do that for you and with the new Wireless Alarm Systems you can do so much more like home automation with full remote control.